News Column

Comedian Aziz Ansari bringing new material to Kirby Center stage

July 12, 2014

By Kristen Gaydos, The Citizens' Voice, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.



July 12--Aziz Ansari will be bringing something special to Wilkes-Barre -- untested material.

The comedian plans to try out a bit of a new routine when he performs "Modern Romance" at 7 p.m. Sunday at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre.

Known for his stand-up comedy and specials like "Dangerously Delicious" and "Buried Alive," Ansari also plays the outlandish but maturing Tom Haverford on the sitcom "Parks and Recreation."

KG: I saw your show in May in Springfield, Massachusetts -- the show where an audience member's phone dropped through the floor into the abyss under the stage. You handled that very well! How do you prevent things like that from throwing off your stride on stage? (And did the guy get a new phone?)

AA: Oh wow, that was really insane. I'd never dropped anyone's phone before when doing that bit and the one time I do, there's this strange, large crack that leads to a giant abyss. We got that guy a new phone for sure. Accidents like that don't throw me off my stride because you learn to embrace those kind of incidents and indulge in what makes them interesting.

KG: The theme of your tour is "Modern Romance." You're working on a book on the subject, correct? How is that process going?

AA: I am. It's going along well, but the book won't be out until next year.

KG: What do you think attracts you to the subject? How much is drawn from your personal experience?

AA: It's something we all deal with our entire lives so writing a book or stand-up about it is very easy. It's one of the most universally shared human experiences -- the joys (and woes) of trying to find and maintain love. My personal experience informs both the stand-up and the show and obviously is a major factor in my point of view.

KG: What would you say is one of the most perplexing things about modern dating?

AA: The staggering amount of options and the difficulties that presents in settling down. All the research on choice and decision making shows more options makes it harder to make a choice and that once we do, we are less satisfied. We have more options than anyone in history, both from new sources like online dating and also from new life stages like college and early adulthood.

KG: What's one piece of advice you would give someone who's just starting a relationship?

AA: I'm not in the advice game!

KG: What's it like preparing for the final season of "Parks and Recreation"? Do you have input on where Tom Haverford ends up after the three-year jump?

AA: We haven't gotten back to shooting yet. I should probably call Mike Schur and see what's planned for Tom!

KG: Is there anything you'll particularly miss about playing Tom?

AA: I'll miss that character, but I'm really going to miss that cast and crew more than anything, which is kind of cheesy sounding but very true. We are all very close.

KG: Do you have any other upcoming projects? Plans for after "Parks and Rec"?

AA: Mostly stuff I can't talk about. I've been in New York working on new stand-up at clubs here and there. I wrote like 30 new minutes of stand-up that could be the basis of my next stand-up hour (or I may just integrate it into "Modern Romance"). I'm going to do it at the show on Sunday, and I haven't done it on any other tour stops.

kgaydos@citizensvoice.com, 570-821-2118

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(c)2014 The Citizens' Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)

Visit The Citizens' Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) at citizensvoice.com

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Source: Citizens' Voice, The (Wilkes-Barre, PA)


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